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01 OCTOBER, 2017 (MAINS)


Q1. “The elections to the Rajya Sabha have always been a sordid affair; however, the recently concluded polls have touched a new low.” Examine this statement. Is there a need to alter the election system in the Rajya Sabha?


Please write the answer in comments section

  • Osho Korde

    Elections to the Council of States as they are conducted today are nothing but a parody of its stated objective. If the very institution of Parliament has undergone a steady decline over the last two decades, the twisted, underhand process of indirect elections to the Upper House – supposedly the House of erudite personalities – has lost even more credibility. A question mark — larger than ever before — hangs over the validity as well as legitimacy of the Upper House. Do Rajya Sabha members, many of them not even domiciles of the states they represent, do justice to the cause they are meant to serve? Clearly not.
    Representational image. PTI
    Unlike in Lok Sabha elections, where party nominees have to go campaign hard, do constituency work, and seek a mandate from the people they aspire to represent (which give this electoral process a certain amount of transparency), Rajya Sabha polls are primarily driven by murky backroom manipulations. The brazen use of money power, even though integral to every election – state and national – is even more flagrantly on display in Rajya Sabha polls.
    Political parties throw their weight behind industrialists, media barons and editors they consider to be friendly to their politics as well as policies. The aspirants, for their part, serve interests of the parties, in the hope of extracting their support for their candidacy. More and more, we are witnessing a culture of trade off among these interest groups.

    Given the situation, the existence of Rajya Sabha can only be justified if its members are directly elected by citizens of the states they seek to represent. Or else, elections will continue to be the charade they have become.